News and musings in brief:
The worst IHG redemption I’ve ever seen – is this where Istanbul is now?
In February I will be heading down to Istanbul for a couple of days to check out Turkish Airlines long haul aircraft and their widely applauded lounge facilities.
Needing a hotel for two nights, I was planning to use the free night vouchers from our IHG credit cards. Until I saw the prices.
The InterContinental in Istanbul, in early February, is €77 per night. That is £56.
Alternatively, I could use 50,000 IHG Rewards Club points!
I know that Istanbul has not had the best press recently, but neither has Paris – I don’t the InterContinental there selling for £56!
Looking at Expedia, it is carnage across the sector. Only the Shangri-La and Four Seasons seem able to charge over £200. The Park Hyatt, which is new and apparently very impressive, is just £128. The Conrad is £100.
(As an example of how low these prices are, Amex Travel wants £210 per night for the Park Hyatt. This is their contracted Fine Hotels & Resorts rate which is meant to be roughly the same as the hotel rate – it is now 65% higher.)
I know the weather isn’t great in Istanbul in February but it will be a lot better than the UK, and at these prices you get a very cheap short break.
Get your missing Accor points reinstated
If you earned 1,050 free Le Club AccorHotels points from their recent quiz, you may have found your points removed by Accor. This promotion was subject to a major fraud and Accor stripped all of the accounts which looked even vaguely dodgy.
If your points were removed, the good news is that Accor is happy to reinstate them. Get in touch with Customer Services and, once you’ve convinced them that you exist, the points will be returned to your account. This has worked OK for a couple of Head for Points readers.
(Want to earn more hotel points? Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)
Travel agency ditches credit card fees
Finally, if you live in the north of England, it is worth noting that independent travel agent Dawson & Sanderson has abolished credit charges from yesterday.
Anyone paying with a Visa or MasterCard – although not an Amex – will now be able to pay without incurring an additional charge. It remains to be seen if we will see more of this behaviour following the new EU rules on Visa and MasterCard fees.